Topics in German Medieval Literature: Before Gender: Cross-Dressing and Sex in Medieval RomanceLA
A young Arthurian knight loses honor because he enjoys having sex with his wife. The Grail King is wounded near fatally in the genitals while trying to win the “wrong” woman. Young kings dress up and act like women in order to woo their prospective brides. This course will explore what it meant to be men and women in love (with each other or with God) in some of the most spectacular literary works of the German Middle Ages. The larger context for our discussion will be a more nuanced understanding of the history of gender. Readings and discussion primarily in modern German, some readings and discussion in English.